Following a ‘Farm-to-Table’ concept, the company is working directly with farm collectives in northeastern Thailand to source the finest
organic Jasmine rice for use in its restaurants and staff canteens – all while supporting sustainable development.
Dusit Hotels and Resorts, under Dusit International, one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, has become the first hotel chain in Thailand to offer 100% organic rice across its entire portfolio of properties nationwide, bringing nutritional benefits to guests, customers, and employees, and sustainable income gains and life-changing developments to agricultural communities in the kingdom’s Thung Kula Rong Hai area, specifically Surin and Sisaket provinces.
Driven by Dusit International’s food business unit, Dusit Foods, and the company’s Sustainability Committee, the initiative sees Dusit work directly with farm collectives and provide all the support they need – from quality control to training to packaging to distribution – to deliver well-packaged, high-quality organic Jasmine rice to its hotel, restaurant, and catering businesses. All Dusit Hotels and Resorts in Thailand, as well as Dusit’s standalone restaurant concept, Baan Dusit Thani, in Bangkok, are now using rice to create nutritious and delicious meals for customers and employees.
Fully embracing a ‘Farm-to-Table’ concept, Dusit’s team has carefully selected four farming communities to work with based on their passion for high-quality produce and eagerness to co-develop and enhance their agricultural offerings with Dusit. This includes farming collectives in Surin Province’s Cor Ko and Nhong Pai subdistricts, and Sisaket Province’s Huai Thap Than and Nong Khae subdistricts.
Mr Siradej Donavanik, VP – Development Global, Dusit International, and Chairman of Dusit’s Sustainability Committee, said that the organic rice initiative is part of the company’s strategy to optimise its culinary offerings in line with the four pillars of Dusit Graciousness – namely Service (personalised and gracious), Well-being (delivering wellness experiences beyond the spa), Locality (uniquely linking guests with the local community), and Sustainability (having a positive impact on people and the environment while bringing enduring value to stakeholders).
“Our mission is to bring enduring value to Thailand’s rural communities while benefiting our customers and employees too,” said Mr. Donavanik. “Jasmine rice from Thung Kula Rong Hai is known around the world for its strong aroma, soft texture, and slender grain. And the long-grain white rice we source is among the finest of its kind. By sourcing this rice directly, not only are we giving guests, customers, and employees access to high-quality nutrition, but we are also giving the farming collectives we work with access to consistent income, which will help to improve their quality of life. At the same time, as a business, our organic rice model helps to optimise quality and overall costs within the group, so it’s truly a win-win.”
Mr. Donavanik said that Dusit is also working closely with the farms to help enhance their output so they can reach more customers and grow their business, ultimately driving sustainable development with long-term benefits for all farmers involved.
“We aim to help put in place systems and processes that help the farms to increase their yields so they can generate more revenue overall,” he said. “As part of this, where possible, we plan to directly invest in the communities by purchasing new rice mills that can help speed up production and enhance their capacity to generate more sales. We also hope to increase our own purchases of organic rice by selling it on online channels and using it in the culinary offerings of our other business units.”
Mr Tewin Phanarkart, the representative of the Huai Thap Than farming collective in Sisaket Province, said, “We work with all our hearts to grow high-quality organic rice, and we’re delighted to finally have a big and respected buyer that recognises this and is willing to pay a fair rate for our efforts. Alongside the financial relief that Dusit’s large order brings, we greatly appreciate the company’s support towards enhancing our yield, which puts us in a great position to continue doing what we love and grow our organic business overall. We take great pride in our work, and we’re very proud that our organic rice will be enjoyed by people from around the world at Dusit’s five-star hotels and other businesses. Our community has been waiting for a life-changing opportunity like this, and we are very grateful for it.”
Other subsidiaries under Dusit International that are using organic Jasmine rice in Thailand include Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School, and Epicure Catering, the leading provider of quality food services to the educational sector in Thailand, which Dusit acquired in 2019. More business units are expected to follow next year.